The concept of sports betting and gambling has long roots in ancient Indian traditions. It dates way back to the days of Mahabharat. However, the first clear existence of betting and gambling was found in 430 BC.
There has been evident mention of the gambling boards used in the period of Ramayana. There is still an ongoing debate between historians whether it was the use of a gambling board with dice or a board of chess. If you ever encounter a conversation with a gambler who says, ‘I lost my t-shirt,’ this phrase is derived from the ancient times where it compares the trees being ripped off from its fruits when Lord Hanuman shakes the gambler to relieve them from their clothes.
Well, the history of sports betting is quite in-depth. The concept of betting changed and evolved with the passing centuries to the current day, where sports betting is a luxury for many rich people. Now, starting from horse racing to cricket betting to kabaddi, gambling has evolved in various ways. So, let’s understand them briefly.
Betting: Ancient Period For King’s Game
If you look at the prehistoric manuscripts, you will find that the era of Mahabharata and Ramayana had mentions of betting and gambling. The concept of rolling dice for gambling started way back between 2000 BCE to 1500 BCE. Gambling was considered to be the ‘King’s Game.’
The kings used to put their treasurable items at stake to make the game more thrilling. With the desire for victory, they even put more treasures for gambling.
In those eras, dice were made from the nuts of Vibhitaka trees due to their 5-sided features. It is hard to believe, but gambling was considered a valuable part of keeping the mind healthy and stable by the ancient Indians. They even thought that gambling was an excellent way to establish conversation and relationships with the kings of other kingdoms.
Gambling: Mid 15th Century
With the passing centuries, gambling and betting became more structured and organized. During the 15th century, gambling houses became legal for ordinary people where they had to pay a portion of their earnings to the Kings.
Even the Mughals gambled after invading and ruling a large part of India for centuries. According to historical facts, the famous Mughal emperor Akbar used to gamble with other kings and his courtiers to have entertaining chats and fun sessions.
Within a century or two, the world was introduced to casino games in western countries. In the 18th century, the British introduced the game of cricket. This was the proper start of sports betting, and till date, it is considered the best game to place bets on your favorite team or player.
If you have watched the movie ‘Lagaan,’ you have an idea about the concept of betting at that time.
Sports Betting: The Current Day Scenario
From the beginning of the 20th century, gambling and sports betting took a significant turn in India. The Indian government put several restrictions on gambling as many people were getting addicted to this form of entertainment. However, it didn’t stop people from gambling.
With the introduction of the Internet in early 1995, gambling evolved into online gambling websites. Even today, you can get the best betting options at online sites like fantasy sports. This platform offers a great welcome bonus to kick-start your online gambling experience. With so many options for sports and games, online sites have fulfilled the desires of punters.
Sports Betting: Present Day Laws In India
The outlook of the nation towards gambling is still the same since the 20th century. Even now, the layman would consider gambling as a sin or taboo. If you look at the federal laws, it will reflect similar sentiments in words.
Every state and union territory in India has separate discretion and authority to decide whether to legalize gambling and sports betting or not. However, most of the states don’t support the act of gambling but have still made specific considerations.
For instance, online websites like fantasy sports for betting are allowed to operate efficiently in India. You can also make bets on horse racing in some states of India.
India still has the same central law for gambling that the British set way back in the 1850s. It doesn’t permit the operations of gambling houses. However, some states like Goa, Sikkim, and Maharashtra have special rooms for casinos to operate. The favorite hub for gambling is Goa, where punters love to legally spend their weekends gambling.
So, that’s it for now. Hopefully, we have been able to shed some light on the betting culture in India.